Long-term partnerships with key Australia, international and developing country research groups allow us to reduce fragmentation while leveraging the skills, knowledge and assets that each partner brings. Our research partners allow us to build a coordinated agenda, share lessons, and provide timely advice.
The Research Strategy 2012–16 notes that in order to strengthen existing partnerships, the department will consolidate multiple individual agreements with selected research partners into longer-term strategic partnership agreements that reduce transaction costs while maintaining flexibility to fund projects in priority areas. We will also evaluate the effectiveness of current partnerships with international research organisations to ensure our research investment is going to areas of strategic important to the aid program. Below is an indicative of list of our research partners.
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
The department’s partnership with ACIAR will further expand, supporting increased investment in research and innovation. ACIAR will also continue to manage Australia’s engagement with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) [external website]
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
The department supports CSIRO to conduct research in areas of importance to the Australian aid program including in areas of fisheries, food security, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and monitoring. The Department of Foreign Affairs—Australian Aid – CSIRO alliance is one of the ways we engage with CSIRO on the particular issues of the environment and poverty. Supporting a limited number of longer-term research activities, the alliance addresses issues of sustainable development including energy, water resources and climate change in South East Asia. We are also working with CSIRO on a large-scale collaboration with West African researchers to improve regional food security.
Department of Foreign Affairs—Australian Aid – CSIRO alliance [external website]
The research councils
The department will continue to be a partner with higher education researchers on relevant Australian Research Council linkage project applications that promote innovative research.
Australian Government departments
The department will continue to collaborate with Australian Government partners on setting research priorities as well as joint funding, review and use of relevant research. An example of such a partnership is the Pacific–Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning program.
Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)
The department partners with ACFID as the peak body for Australian non-government organisations, including collaboration on approaches to human research ethics.
The department will continue to engage in strategic partnerships with leading international development research institutions. Examples of successful Australian aid partnerships, among others, include the:
- Overseas Development Institute that provides high quality, practical research and capacity development in areas such as impact evaluation, business engagement, humanitarian policy and public aid expenditure
- Brookings Institution and the Centre for Global Development that continue to provide useful research on aid effectiveness such as the annual Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment
- Asia Foundation and the International Crisis Group that provide credible research grounded in operational experience and collaboration at the country level on issues of fragility, conflict and national security.
Other development research funders
The department will continue to work closely with other development research funders through playing an active role in the International Forum for Research Donors. We have been an early advocate of a formalised administrative structure to support the effectiveness and influence of the network.